Thursday, February 19
Rev. Zac Morton, Associate Pastor for New Church Development, Roswell Presbyterian Church
The word that grabs me more than any other in Scripture is "Shalom."
Shalom is a Hebrew word, but you have probably heard it spoken before, especially in Jewish circles. I had the opportunity to live in Israel for two summers, and I heard the word Shalom more than any other. People use shalom to say goodbye, thank you, or simply to wish someone well. It is used in formal settings and casual settings, with close friends or for someone who just held open a door for you.
In our Bibles, shalom often gets translated as "peace," but it means far more than that. The word shalom refers to God's peace - the world as God intends for it to be. My experience in the world is that it is currently less than God intends. I often live a life that is less than God intends for me. But the word shalom has reminded me that when my experience is less than, God is greater than, and that God is pulling me, others, and the entire world toward a greater Shalom. It is a word that I try to use often, because it has given me courage, hope, and fulfillment on more than one occasion.
Shalom is hope. Shalom is redemption. Shalom is beauty. Shalom is the moment a tiny baby grasps your finger and smiles at you in wide-eyed wonder. Shalom is for me and for you and for the person waiting for the bus on the side of the road. Shalom is the future - the future God has for all of us, which will be better than any word we have to describe it.
PRAYER (from Numbers 24-26):
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and grant you shalom. Amen.